Cost Of Living In Thailand vs US

How Much Does It Cost To Live In Thailand vs USA?

There is no question that Thailand is a much more affordable place to live than the United States. But just how much cheaper is it? In this blog post, we will compare the Cost Of Living In Thailand vs US and see just how big of a difference there is. Keep reading to find out!

Most estimates say that living in Thailand is between 35% and 75% less expensive than in the U.S. The average cost of living in Thailand is about 40% less than the median cost of living in the U.S., according to March 2022 data from Numbeo, a platform that accumulates living costs information from all over the world.

Key Takeaways

  • In comparison with most western countries, Thailand remains quite affordable overall.
  • The cost of living in America is much higher than it is in Thailand due to higher taxes and prices on goods and services.
  • According to most reports and calculations, the cost of living in Thailand is between 35 and 75 percent less expensive than it is in the United States.
Cost Of Living In Thailand vs US

Comparison of the cost of living in Thailand and the United States

According to the March 2022 report published on Numbeo, a website that compiles data on the cost of living from all over the world, the average cost of living in Thailand is approximately thirty five percent less (or more) than the average cost of living in the United States.

How Much Do You Need Per Month? (2022)

If you’re planning to live in Thailand on a budget of at least $1,500 per month, with $2,000 being a more reasonable benchmark.

To get by on a $1,500 monthly income per month, you’ll need to be able to rent a small studio apartment in an older part of town (e.g., most parts of Bangkok). You can expect to pay about $200-250 per month for this kind of accommodation. You’ll also need to budget for food and local transport costs (both public transit and taxis), which will run at least another $200 per month. This leaves you with more than a thousand remaining—enough for utilities, Internet access, phone service, and other miscellaneous expenses and monthly fees like laundry or haircuts.

If you want to live somewhere nicer—say a one-bedroom apartment with internet access—you can expect to pay between $350-$400 per month. However, if you want something even better (like a two-bedroom place with cable TV) expect to pay upwards of $750 per month!

Common Living Expenses Comparison

Here are the compare the cost of living comparison in Thailand and the US:

1. Gym

Gyms are no longer just for fitness enthusiasts; they have become an integral part of many people’s lives. Gym memberships provide the opportunity to work out, meet new friends from different backgrounds and cultures, and take care of business after hours or on weekends–all while having some fun! In Thailand, it costs about $41 per month is quite affordable when compared with American rates at 47 dollars every single month.

2. Internet

The Internet is an important part of everyday life, and it’s not just for people who work from home. Whether you’re checking your email, watching Netflix, or playing games on a mobile device, having access to the web is essential.

The biggest difference between the internet in Thailand and in the United States is the cost. In Thailand, you can get 50 Mbps+ internet per month for just $15.8 (that’s about $1.90 per day). In the United States, you’ll pay $65.2 per month for the same service—which is about $4.19 per day. That’s a huge difference!

3. Rent

It’s no secret that the cost of living can vary widely from country to country. And when you’re trying to budget for a move or extended stay abroad, it’s important to have a realistic sense of what your living expenses will be. So how do the United States and Thailand stack up? In terms of rent, the difference is significant: you could expect to pay about $300 and above per month for a one-bedroom apartment in Thailand, whereas the same apartment in Washington DC would set you back about $1410 per month.

4. Mobile Phone

Mobile phone plans are a huge expense in the U.S. because of the high cost of service and phone plans, but they’re not such an expense in Thailand.

In Thailand, a mobile phone plan with unlimited talk, text, and data will only cost you about $12 USD per month and the prepaid mobile tariff local (15 GB data for 8 days + 15 THB calling credit) is about 9.22 USD. In the US, on the other hand, it’ll cost you around $60 USD per month for the same thing.

5. Maid

As of the year 2021, a house cleaning service will set you back anywhere from $40 to $65 per hour, which is the average salary, depending on where you live, as reported by Thumbtack, a company that provides home services. The overall price may be anywhere from $80 to $110 for a modest apartment to $150 to $250 for a house that is 2,000 square feet or larger.

On the other hand, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time live-in maids in Thailand earn an average of 15,000 baht (Thailand currency) per month. This means they cost less than $400 per month on average—far less than what you’d pay for a similar service in the United States.

Having a maid can assist you with your household tasks, such as babysitting, cooking ,and cleaning. usually costs $2,500 to $55,000 per year in your home—a fraction of what it would cost for similar services in the US.

6. Health

It’s no secret that healthcare in the United States is expensive. A trip to the doctor for a basic check-up can cost upwards of $150-$300, and that’s not even taking into account the cost of more serious procedures or treatments. In contrast, healthcare in Thailand is much more affordable. A basic primary care visit in Thailand costs between $95 and $171, which is a fraction of the cost in the United States. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the quality of care is lower in Thailand – on the contrary, Thailand has some of the best hospitals and physicians in Southeast Asia.

7. Transportation

n many parts of the world, transportation is a necessary part of life but it can be a real budget-buster. In the United States, the average bus ride is $1.25 to $3 By contrast, in Thailand transportation is very affordable. Buses and taxis are inexpensive, and there is an extensive train network that connects different parts of the country. As a result, the daily cost of commuting for most people is only $1-$2 USD per day. This makes a big difference for families and individuals who are trying to make ends meet. It also has a positive impact on the economy, as people have more disposable income to spend on goods and services.

8. Food

When you’re living in the US, it’s easy to forget that just across the border, you can live a more affordable life. Thai food is world-renowned for its deliciousness, but it’s also incredibly affordable. A basic meal with a drink at an inexpensive restaurant in Thailand will cost you about $1.81, while in the US—where everything is more expensive—you’ll pay around $15.20 for the same thing!

9. Water

In the United States, water is so plentiful and affordable that we often take it for granted. The average price of water is only $1.50 for 1,000 gallons, which means that a gallon of water costs less than one penny. That’s a fraction of the cost of other beverages like soda or coffee, and it’s enough to last you through the day. In comparison, bottled water in Thailand costs about 0.46 USD per bottle, which is about 10 times more expensive than in the United States.

10. Laundry

You will be charged on a per-kilogram basis if you bring your dirty laundry to a laundromat that offers a drop-off service. In the northern regions, the price per kilo ranges from 30 to 40 Baht ($1 to $1.25), while in the southern regions, it ranges from 50 to 60 Baht ($1.50 to $1.75).

The cost of washing a load of laundry in the United States can range anywhere from $1.50 to $4.00, with the national average being somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.00. (source). The cost of drying a load of laundry is very comparable to the cost of washing a load of laundry; however, the cost typically depends on the length of time it takes for the clothes to dry.

11. Alcohol

In Thailand, A big bottle of local beer – 35 – 65 baht ($1 – $2) will usually get you a large amount of beer that’s much cheaper than what you’d pay in the USA. If you want to save even more money, you can buy a can of Thai beer from a 7-11 for around 25 baht ($0.80). If you’re out with friends, it’s also worth noting that most bars will offer a discount if you buy a bucket of beer (usually 5 bottles).

In the USA, the cost of a drink in a bar ranges from $5 to $15. This can add up quickly, especially if you’re out for a night on the town. However, there are some ways to save money on drinks in the USA. For example, many bars offer happy hour specials with reduced prices on alcoholic beverages. Also, if you’re not picky about what you’re drinking, you can often find discounts on well-drinks or domestic beers.

12. Education

The education system in the U.S. consists of free public primary and secondary schools, with some schools charging student fees but all publicly funded ones being free when enrolling (like Thailand). The Thai educational structure, on the other hand, consists of a twelve-year period for basic schooling during which time students are provided with books and uniforms as well as two meals per day while enrolled in school—something both countries have achieved through government legislation.

13. Movie

Tickets to watch a movie in Thailand cost anywhere from 70 (2 US dollars) baht to 160 baht (5 US dollars), depending on the time of day, the day of the week, and where you’re watching it. In Bangkok cinemas, the price for new-release films will generally be 140 to 160 baht. In the US, moviegoers had to pay an average ticket price of 9.16 U.S. dollars in 2019—which is an increase from 2017 when the average ticket price was 8.93 U.S. dollars

14. Visa

When applying for a Thai tourist visa, the cost can range depending on the type of visa you need. For a single entry visa, the price is typically between $30 and $50 US. If you need a multiple entry visa, the cost is generally between $150 and $250 US. The price of a petition-based visa, such as a temporary worker or temporary religious worker visa, is currently set at US$190. These fees are based on current rates and are subject to change. It’s important to check with the embassy or consulate of Thailand for the most up-to-date information on visa fees.

15. Vacation

Comparatively, the average cost of a week’s stay in the United States is approximately $1,577, while the average cost of a week’s stay in Thailand is approximately $620. If you intend to stay in the country for an extended period of time, you will notice these distinctions even more clearly. A trip to Thailand or the United States for ten days, two weeks, or even one month can add a significant amount to your overall travel budget.

16. Electricity

The cost of electricity bills in Thailand is quite reasonable when compared to other countries. As of 2021, the average price per unit was just over four baht. This equates to about 11 US cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). In comparison, the average price paid by US residential customers increased by 4.3% in 2020 to 13.72 cents per kWh.

While it’s true that prices have been rising in recent years, Thai consumers are still paying much less for their electricity than their counterparts in many other parts of the world. As such, it’s no wonder that Thailand is a popular destination for ex-pats and retirees from all over the globe. Thanks to its low cost of living, beautiful weather, and friendly people, Thailand is an appealing place to call home.

17. Coffee

When it comes to coffee, Thailand is a nation of java lovers. According to recent figures, the average Thai person consumes 0.18 kilograms of coffee per year, which is about double the global average. Not surprisingly, there are plenty of places to get a good cup of coffee in Thailand. In Bangkok, for instance, prices for a latte range from $0.98 to $3.77, with the average cup costing $2.29. That’s slightly cheaper than in the United States, where an average cup of coffee costs $2.70.

18. Haircut

Getting a haircut is an essential part of self-care for many people. A fresh cut can help you to feel more put-together and confident. However, haircuts can also be quite expensive, especially if you go to a salon. In the United States, the average cost of a haircut is $28. This can be a significant expense for some people.

In Thailand, a man’s haircut costs around 150 baht (3.95 USD). The cost at some more boutique-style salons may be as high as 300 baht (8USD), which includes a wash and style. Men’s color and cut can set you back about 800 baht (21.05 USD).

19. TV

If you’re in the market for a new TV, you might want to consider heading to Thailand. Prices for TVs there are some of the lowest in the world, with 32-inch Samsung and Sony LED TVs going for around 9,600 Thai Baht (253 USD). In comparison, TVs in the US tend to be much more expensive, with $400-500 being the most common price range. Of course, there are always exceptions – you can find some cheap TVs in the US if you know where to look – but on average, Thai prices are unbeatable.

20. Gifts

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, the average American will spend $659 on holiday gifts this year. But if you’re looking to cutting down on your holiday spending, there’s no need to worry. You can still find great gifts without breaking the bank. In Thailand, for example, you can find beautiful handmade gifts for as little as 300 baht (about 8 dollars). So whether you’re looking for unique décor, handcrafted jewelry, or just a special something for a loved one, don’t let holiday gift-giving stress you out. With a little bit of creativity, you can find thoughtful gifts that won’t cost a fortune.

Cost Of Living In Thailand vs US

Average Cost of Living Comparisons


The cost of living in Bangkok is significantly lower than in New York City. According to one estimation, a single person can expect to spend $555 US dollars (or 21,156 Baht) on living expenses each month, not including rent. This makes Bangkok 55.68% cheaper than New York, making it an attractive option for those looking to stretch their dollar further. While the cost of living may be lower, Bangkok is still an exciting and cosmopolitan city, with plenty to see and do. From world-class shopping and dining to historic temples and landscapes, there is something for everyone in Bangkok.

Chiang Mai

If you’re considering a move to Chiang Mai, you’ll be happy to know that it is a very affordable city. A single person’s estimated monthly costs are just 449$ (17,120 baht), without rent. That’s 66.68% less expensive than New York City! When it comes to housing, you’ll find that rents in Chiang Mai are very reasonable. There are also plenty of great apartments and houses to choose from. You’ll also find that transportation costs and sustenance (like local cheese and street meals) are relatively low, especially when you consider cooking your own food!


As anyone who’s familiar with the cost of living in major metropolitan areas knows, rent can be a huge expense. So it’s no surprise that Phuket, Thailand is a much cheaper place to live than New York City if you don’t have to worry about rent.

According to Numbeo, a website that provides the cost of living comparisons for cities around the world, the estimated monthly costs for a single person in Phuket are just 17,480 Thai Baht or about 459 US dollars. That’s over 63% less than the estimated monthly costs of 3,012 US dollars for a single person in New York City. When you factor in the lower cost of living, it’s no wonder that so many people are choosing to retire or relocate to Phuket.


According to recent studies, the average monthly costs for a single person living in Pattaya are 17,482฿, or approximately 458$. This is a significant saving when compared to the average monthly costs of living in New York, which are estimated to be around 3,015$. When rent is factored into the equation, Pattaya becomes an even more attractive option, as it is 64.67% less expensive than New York.

Koh Samui

Ko Samui is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand. The Thai island is well-known for its beautiful beaches, lush jungle scenery, and friendly locals. In recent years, Ko Samui has also become increasingly popular with retirees and digital nomads looking for a low-cost place to live. According to Numbeo, the average cost of living in Ko Samui is $536 per month. This makes Ko Samui one of the least expensive cities in the world to live in.

Cost Of Living In Thailand vs US

Cost Of Living In Thailand vs US FAQs

How much money do I need to live comfortably in Thailand?

Thailand is a beautiful country with a rich culture and friendly people. It’s no wonder that so many people choose to retire here. If you’re thinking of making the move to Thailand, you may be wondering how much money you’ll need to live comfortably. The good news is that you can get by on a relatively modest budget.

According to recent surveys, the average person spends about 45,000 baht (1184.82 USD) a month. Of course, your costs will vary depending on your lifestyle, the exchange rate, and whether you live in Bangkok or another city centre. But even in Bangkok, it’s possible to find affordable accommodation and food.

Can you retire in Thailand with 100k?

If you’re thinking of moving to Bangkok, it’s helpful to know how far your money will go. According to current exchange rates, 100,000 US dollars is worth around 3.4 million Thai baht. This would allow you to live a moderate lifestyle for about six years in Thailand. Of course, this is just a rough estimate – your actual costs will depend on your individual lifestyle and preferences.

For example, if you’re willing to live in a smaller apartment or eat out less often, you could stretch your budget even further. With a little careful planning, you could easily enjoy seven or eight years of living in one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting cities.

Can I live in Thailand permanently?

The answer is yes, but there are a few things you need to know first. A foreigner needs a visa, permanent residence, or citizenship to live in Thailand. If you’re planning on staying for an extended period of time, you’ll need to apply for a long-stay visa from a Thai embassy or consulate.

Can Americans buy property in Thailand?

Thai law says that foreigners can’t own land in their own name. They can, however, buy condos outright (Freehold) or purchase a landed property and rent the land it sits on (generally for thirty years, with the opportunity to extend).

Is Thailand a good place to retire?

Yes, If you’re looking for a place to retire, Thailand is an excellent choice. It’s a beautiful country with warm weather that offers many opportunities for retirees.

Thailand has long been known as a popular tourist destination, and it’s easy to see why: the beaches are beautiful and pristine, the people are friendly, and the food is delicious.


All in all, The cost of living in Thailand compared to the US is much cheaper. And for many people, the idea of retiring and exploring Thailand is an appealing one. And it’s definitely possible to do so on a budget. There are many affordable places to live, and you can get by on a relatively modest income. With a little careful planning, you can enjoy all that Thailand has to offer without breaking the bank. So if you’re thinking of retiring to Thailand, explore the options and see what best suits your needs and budget. You may be surprised at just how affordable it can be.

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